Coronavirus in Greece – Find here all the latest Travel Updates

Post updated on 09 January 2022

 

2020 was a year in which our lives changed a lot to our lives and our experiences.

I won’t analyse the whole situation, but as this is a travel blog, I think I have an obligation to update you about the situation in Greece regarding coronavirus and what measures Greece has taken regarding tourism even if traveling might not be a priority for now.

I am going to update this post as often as possible and I am also going to answer your questions, so feel free to ask me in the comments and I will add the information to the post.

I will try to use official information and I will put sources as this is a very important subject.

In this post, you will find

  • What is the situation right now with the coronavirus cases?
  • What do you need to know before travelling to Greece?
  • What are the local measures now?
  • What are the vaccination metrics in Greece as of today?

 

What is the situation right now with the coronavirus cases?

As of 09 January 2022, Greece reports 1.507.616 cases and 21.394 deaths. More information about the daily statistic you can find on the Worldometer website here.

On 09/01/2022, 18.592 new coronavirus cases were announced and 66 new deaths.

 

What should I know before travelling to Greece?

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you’re travelling from the UK or anywhere else in the world, you will need:

  • To have completed a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before arrival in Greece. The form is required regardless of the means of transport you use to travel to Greece (including by ferry, road, rail or air);

You will also need one of the following:

  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival into Greece; or
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory, undertaken within the 24 hour period before your arrival into Greece

These requirements are compulsory for all travellers aged 5 and above. The test provider must be certified by the competent national certification authority of the country in which you received the test, and must provide you with a certificate of your test result, in Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian. The certificate must include the name of the person, as stated on the passport.

In addition, arrivals into Greece may be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival. If you test positive on arrival in Greece, you (and those you are travelling with) will have to self-isolate in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state. The length of time you need to self-isolate depends on your vaccination status. See ‘Coronavirus’ page for details of what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 while in Greece. You should also be aware that if other passengers on your flight, bus, train or ferry later test positive, you may be subject to self-isolation requirements. These will be mandatory and you should comply with the Greek authorities’ requirements.

From 6am local time (GMT +2) on 24 December the Greek government also “strongly recommends” that you take either a certified rapid test, or certified PCR test on both days 2 and 4 after arrival in Greece.

Check Greek authorities’ advice for further information, including guidance on filling out the Passenger Locator Form and the latest list of countries from which travel to Greece is permitted.

Additionally, further to the discovery of the omicron variant, if you are travelling from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, you will only be allowed to enter Greece for essential reasons, and if you:

  • Present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival;
  • Secure approval from the Greek Embassy/Consulate in (or that covers) the country you are travelling from.

You will also have to take a rapid test on arrival, and complete 10 days compulsory quarantine, which will conclude upon completion of a further PCR test (with a negative result).

Additional restrictions on entry by air

Air connections with Greece are liable to suspension or amendment, sometimes at short notice. If you are due to fly to or from Greece, you should contact your airline or operator for the latest information.

Additional restrictions on entry by land borders

Greece’s land borders are subject to restrictions at present. Monitor official information from the Greek authorities on any changes to border arrangements. Arrivals must have completed a Passenger Locator Form prior to travel. You should also refer to the ‘Coronavirus’ pages for details of how local or national measures may affect travel across land borders.

Passenger Locator Form

You must complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before arriving in Greece. The form is in English, and is required whichever way you travel to Greece (including by ferry, road, rail or air). Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter or re-enter the country.

Every traveller, including children, must have their details included on a PLF. If you’re travelling with others outside of your household, you should all complete your own form. If you’re travelling together as a household, the Greek authorities ask for you to complete one form with all adults and children included. You can add additional members of your household at the top of the form before you submit.

Some airlines may require individual PLFs for every traveller over the age of 18 within the same household. Check directly with your airline what you will need to show to be allowed boarding.

Once you have completed the form, you will receive an email with a QR code. When you receive your code, make sure you either print it, or can show it on your mobile phone. If you are travelling by air to Greece, your airline will ask you to prove that you have completed the PLF form. You should print or show (e.g. on your phone) your email with the QR code you have received. Failure to do so could result in you being refused boarding to the flight.

If you are travelling by ferry to or from Greece, the ferry operator will ask you to complete an additional form (‘Pre Boarding Information’), alongside your PLF. This additional form will be provided by the ferry operator, either via their website, or at booking offices: you should contact them directly if you need further information. Temperature checks may also be carried out before boarding; and it is obligatory to wear masks on all ferries, where capacity is limited to allow for social distancing.

On arrival in Greece, you will need to show your QR code to the Greek authorities. Make sure you have either a printed copy of the code, or can show it on your phone. Failure to provide your PLF form/ QR code will result in a fine or you may be refused entry to Greece.

Source: UK Government

 

What are the local measures now?

Wearing a mask

The Greek government has announced that, from 6am on Friday 24 December, it will be mandatory to wear masks (either double surgical masks or N95 masks) in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, in all areas of Greece.

Public spaces and services

All restrictions remain under regular review. In Regional Units (περιφερειακές ενότητες) where the spread of COVID-19 is particularly high and hospital capacity is limited, restrictions may be tighter or re-imposed with limited notice. Check the latest local guidance and follow the advice of local authorities.

Only the most relevant measures to travellers are included below. You should keep up-to-date by checking this page regularly, and following local announcements.

As restrictions may vary, you should check the latest local guidance.

  • Proof of vaccination is required to enter public spaces such as shops, restaurants (indoor and outdoor) and museums. You should be prepared to demonstrate your proof of vaccination and present ID (passport or Greek Residence card) when asked. If you are not fully vaccinated (including children), see Unvaccinated in Greece;
  • You must use a facemask (double surgical mask or N65 mask) in all indoor and outdoor public and communal spaces, including work-places and on public transport;
  • Restricted numbers are in place for churches and religious services;
  • Unless all passengers are members of the same family, a maximum of 3 persons are permitted to travel in a taxi or other private vehicle with up to 7 seats, or 4 persons in a private vehicle with up to 9 seats;
  • The Greek government “strongly recommends” that people self-test before any outing.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Greece will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. It will also accept proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to you presenting your evidence of vaccination. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Unvaccinated in Greece

If you have not been fully vaccinated or do not have proof of recovery from COVID-19:

  • Travel by aeroplane, train and bus is allowed subject to either a certified negative PCR test in the last 72 hours before the scheduled time of arrival at destination, or to a certified rapid (antigen) test within 48 hours of scheduled arrival at destination;
  • You will not be allowed to enter nightclubs, restaurants (indoors), theatres, cinemas, museums, exhibitions, conferences, gyms and stadiums;
  • You must present proof of a negative rapid test, taken up to 48 hours before entry, to visit other public spaces including shops and restaurants (outdoors);
  • Failure to comply with these rules may be met with fines of up to €5,000;
  • Unvaccinated children (between the ages 4 and 18) require a negative self-test to enter public spaces such as shops, restaurants (indoor and outdoor) and museums

From 13 December 2021, if you are 60 years old or over and more than 7 months have passed since your second vaccination dose and you have not received a third dose, Greece considers your vaccination status expired. This does not affect entry to Greece (see Entry requirements), but domestic ‘unvaccinated’ measures will apply within Greece.

Travel in Greece

Travel within Greece between Regional Units is permitted subject to adherence to public health measures as outlined above. You must wear a mask at all times on all public transport.

Cross-regional travel is allowed for mainland Greece and the islands of Lefkada, Evia and Salamina (use of self-tests ahead of travel is strongly recommended but is not mandatory).

Cross-regional travel by air and sea to the rest of Greece is permitted for those aged 12 and above but only with either:

  • proof of vaccination and 14 days since second dose; or
  • a negative result from a PCR test carried out up to 72 hours prior to travel; or
  • a negative result from a certified rapid test up to 48 hours before travel; or

Children aged 5 to 11, can travel with a negative self-test taken up to 24 hours before the scheduled travel time.

If you are travelling by internal (domestic) flights, specific measures relating to check-in, baggage allowances and other details are in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus. You should check with your operator directly for further detail.

Accommodation

All hotels are permitted to open, and other types of accommodation, including e.g. Airbnb, private rentals and hostels, are also available. However, you should note that many operators are likely to reduce their offer and close some accommodation during the winter months, particularly in light of measures put in place by the Greek authorities to fight the spread of COVID-19. You should check directly with your accommodation provider in case of related concerns.

Healthcare in Greece

If you think you have symptoms, including a fever or respiratory difficulties such as shortness of breath or a cough, you should avoid visiting local health facilities, but contact a doctor remotely to see whether a test is recommended. There is likely to be a cost associated with this, for call out, examination and testing, which you will have to pay.

If you are staying in a hotel or resort, your accommodation provider will have a list of private doctors that they will call to assess your symptoms and conduct a COVID-19 test.

If you have arranged your own accommodation you can find details of English speaking, private doctors on our list of healthcare providers.

If you are tested and the result is positive, the Greek authorities will ask you to quarantine until advised otherwise. You may be able to remain in your existing accommodation, or be required to transfer into a state hospital or other government-provided accommodation. Costs related to transfer to alternative accommodation and treatment at state healthcare facilities will be covered by the Greek Government. The nature of your accommodation may differ from the specifications of your pre-booked hotel, villa or other place of stay. Depending on local arrangements, travellers in groups may be required to stay in separate accommodation (e.g. if a sufficient number of rooms is not available in one venue, your group may be spread across different accommodation locations).

Source: UK Government

 

What are the vaccination metrics in Greece as of today?

 

  • 7.5441.710 Vaccinated with at least one dose (72,3%)
  • 17.847.989 doses
  • 7.094.507 2 doses vaccinated (68%)
  • 3.934.769 3rd dose vaccinated

Source: Emvolio.gov.gr

If you have any specific question, please leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as possible.

 

27 thoughts on “Coronavirus in Greece – Find here all the latest Travel Updates”

  1. Hi SecretGreece

    We are staying on the island of Kea and are looking for a centre to have a PCR test before we fly back to the UK on Saturday. Do you happen to know anywhere on the island?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Georgina.

      I am afraid that I couldn’t find any lab in kea. Not sure if you can ask there at the tourism office.

      Otherwise, you might need to spend a day in Athens and do the test there.

      Is there any possibility of an antigen test being accepted by the UK? Because in that case, you might do the antigen test at the airport. There is a lab for both PCR (result up to 24 hours) and antigen.

      Reply
  2. Hi! I am coming with 3 other women in Sept. We planned to rent a car to get around Paros, but I just read about the vehicle passenger restriction. Will they truly not let 4 of us in one standard sized car?

    Reply
    • Hi Valerie,

      I don’t think that you have any issue about the number of the passenger.
      From what I know this restriction was valid during winter times but now I believe you can be 4 people in a car!
      You can double check with the rent-a-car company just to be sure 100%!

      Reply
  3. Hi there! I am looking to go to Greece from Sept 1- 12. I’ve been to Mykonos and Santorini before and wanted to go to a less touristy island that still has great restaurants, cafes, beaches, etc. Do you have any suggestions as to where the locals go? My friend recommended Paros but I heard that is very touristy as well. In addition, do you think it is a bad idea to travel to Greece right now due to Covid and I should wait until next year? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Mariam,

      There are so many different options and I think I will write a dedicated post about choosing Greek island as I am asked this question quite often!!
      Paros and Naxos have gained quite a popularity in the past years, but they are quite large (especially Naxos) and have different choices and things to do.
      Now if you want something less touristy, there are the below choices:
      Tinos: This is a more wild island than Mykonos and Santorini and its beauty lies in its mainland picturesque villages. It has nice beaches and amazing Greek food! The main town Chora is not as quaint as the other Cyclades.
      Serifos: Very nice island, quite wild and small. It has one main village which is very beautiful and a small village next to the harbour with taverns, bars etc and that’s it! I doubt that you can stay there for 12 days! And of course, it has amazing beaches, but not organised(no sunbeds, umbrellas etc)
      Syros: Large island (capital of Cyclades), with unique and wonderful main town. I mean the Ermoupoli town is just amazing. One of the most beautiful town-cities in Greece. The rest of the island isn’t so picturesque and Syros doesn’t have so nice beaches. Note that the focus of the island is Ermoupoli, where all the hustle and bustle is
      Sifnos: This is easily combined with Serifos. Sifnos has also amazing Greek food, picturesque villages but not great beaches!
      Naxos as a said is very big and quite touristy but you can combine this island with one of the smaller islands like Koufonisia or Donousa, which are very small but just amazing with beautiful beaches. I have written some travel guides about them! You can have a look.

      Finally to answer your last question. To be frank it is a strange year and many things can change daily, like measures, restrictions etc, which can make your holidays more complicated. Also, I don’t know how do you feel travelling during this situation. Personally, I visited 4 islands at the beginning of the island but that’s just me. If you don’t feel comfortable, Greece will be here also next year and will wait for you!!!!

      Reply
  4. Hello,
    Like Chara I am looking for a PCR test centre on Lemnos for my unvaccinated 14 year old son as he needs a PCR test to reenter Ireland where we live from Greece. I tried calling the numbers you gave but couldn’t get someone who spoke English. Do you know if they offer this service? Thank you. Stephen

    Reply
    • Hi Stephen,

      I just called and I managed to find someone on the 2nd phone ( Vouleli Alexandra) and they told me that they indeed do a PCR test.

      Hope this will help you!

      Reply
  5. Hi SecretGreece,

    Many thanks for all the helpful information here.
    This is a real long shot, but do you know of any testing facilities on Lemnos please? My boss will need one before flying back to the UK (via 24 hours in Switzerland) on 20/7 and I’m struggling to find anything useful!
    Many thanks in advance for any guidance you’re able to provide!

    Reply
    • Hi Chara,

      I have found two diagnostic centres that probably process covid19 pcr tests.
      One is Euromedica (Panteleli Marianthi, 2ο km Mytilene – Kalloni, Mytilene, 81100, +30 2251042101) and the other is ( Vouleli Alexandra, Kavetsou 40, Mytilene, Βουλέλλη Αλεξάνδρα, tel. +30 2251046656).

      Try to call them and find out if they are process PCR coronavirus tests.

      Hope they will help you!

      Let me know if you need anything else.

      Regards,

      Dimitris

      Reply
  6. Hi,

    I was planning a week trip at the end of July and moving between Mykonos, Paros and Athens. We haven’t had both vaccinations, does this mean we will require tests in order to travel between the islands via ferry?

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • Hi Hayley.

      As you know the measures can change quite often. But based on what we know today on 21/06, for the routes between the islands you will not need any health statement form or tests or vaccinations etc.

      But if you want to travel from a main harbour, ie Athens to the islands, then you will need to provide one of the below

      – Full vaccination certificate
      – Negative result of PCR test carried out up to 72 hours before departure
      – Negative result of the rapid test carried out up to 24 hours before departure
      – Negative result of a Covid-19 self-test carried out up to 24 hours before departure (the result is declared either in writing on the printed or web version of the health declaration form or through the self-test result declaration platform for Greek citizens, as well as on the pre-boarding form)
      – Official confirmation of Covid-19 infection minimum 2 months and maximum 9 months before the departure date

      Children under the age of 5 are exempt from the negative Covid-19 test requirement.

      All travellers must complete their health statement form before their embarkation to their ship.

      Reply
  7. Hi SecretGreece,

    Absolutely lost on my itinerary for my first trip to Greece in summer. I will have at least ten days (saving a day or 2 for Athens). I rather explore a few places/islands well than hopping around (because I shall come back again). I think I should include Santorini but not Mykonos. Paros too famous? I am more interested in less famous islands. Beaches, good food, small villages, slow pace, exploration by foot are my priorities. Any tips/suggestions appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Wilma

    Reply
    • Hi Wilma. I do understand your issue! I am also lost sometimes on which island to select!

      So, based on what you said, I would recommend three islands.

      One is Koufonisia, which is quite small, but has incredible beaches, slow pace and you can explore it on foot! The only drawback is that it hasn’t villages to explore as you want.

      The second is Tinos, which also has nice beaches, amazing food, picturesque villages, but it can not be discovered on foot.
      Sorry, but maybe exploring villages and exploring on foot can be contradictory or extremely difficult!

      The third, which is also small but far less touristy from both of the above, is Donousa. I was there the previous week (going to upload a post the next weeks). It has amazing beaches, like Koufonisia, 3 villages (one the main and the other two very small but you can go there on foot), nice food (nothing breathtaking though) and a slow pace.

      I hope I didn’t make your decision more difficult! I am here to help you if you want.

      Reply
  8. Hi coming the end of June to Mýkonos Syros Paros from the us….Keep hearing no music in bars or on the beach??curfew 1230..do you think this might change…

    Reply
    • Hi Carol,

      I am afraid that you are right! Now, no music is allowed in restaurants, bars, cafes etc and the curfew indeed it is till 00.30.
      But, they say that these restrictions will be lifted after 15/06. So, fingers crossed!
      I will try to update the blog post as soon as there is anything official!

      Reply
  9. Hello. Is it possible to get the rapid Covid test in Koufonisia and Mýkonos? I need one before returning to the UK. If so, how much are they please?

    Reply
    • Hi Steven,

      In Mykonos there is a clinic that provides pcr and rapid test, which is this one. Just for your information, the cost is set by law to be 20 euros for the rapid and 60 euros for the pcr.
      Koufonisia is very small, so I am not sure that you can do a rapid test there, but I will keep an eye in case the municipality there announces anything.

      Reply
  10. hi, thank you for updating this blog. very interesting indeed. i plan to visit Crete, Mykonos and Koufonisia. do you know how easy is to get the covid 19 test to check if negative from greece? do you have a list of doctors/places how to book your test for return to your own country?
    regarding my journey:
    what you recommend, spend more time in crete at the beginning or at the end of the holiday? i am sure that koufonisia is the most relaxing place, but i still have to take many transports to go back to crete. so checking what you would do with these 3 places in mind.
    Also, which part of Crete have the best sandy or snorkelling beaches? which is the best part of the island in your opinion?

    sorry for the many questions,
    thank you again!
    Mary

    Reply
    • Hi Mary! 
      I would love to help you, but I don’t have too much information. But I will try my best!  If you want something more specific you can send us an email!

      1) It is easy to get a coronavirus test in a private hospital or laboratory if you depart from big cities like Heraklion or Chania. If you mention to me your departure airport I can check if I know any facility to do the test.

      2) I love all 3 places, as each one offers something different. The logistics of this itinerary is quite vital. And Koufonisi is marvellous, but maybe it will make your life more difficult. Also, as you might already know, Heraklio is a better choice to visit Mykonos as there is a direct ferry. But Chania is more picturesque! Anyway, answering your question, my recommendation would be that if you fly from Crete to your country, then Crete should be your last part of your holidays. Because if i.e is Koufonisia the last part, then if something happens through all the transport to Crete and the airport then you can miss your flight. 

      3) Chania Region is my strong preference as it has a lovely town and beautiful sandy beaches. For snorkelling, I have heard that there are many places in Chania region,  like Souda, Kalyves, Iguana, Elafonissi, Gramvoussa etc. But if you select Heraklio then I think you will find some places for snorkelling and some nice beaches.

      Let me know if you have another question. I would be glad to help you if I can!

      Reply
  11. Flying from the US to Greece, hoping to stay in Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens. Can you confirm if we are allowed to island hop or if we have to stay in one town/county during our stays like some other countries? We will have proof of vaccinations.

    How likely do you think it is that Greece will welcome visitors starting May 14? Is there a high chance this date gets pushed back further into summer?

    Reply
    • Hi Chelsea!

      From what that have been announced and from my personal view, I think you will be able to travel from May 14 with vaccination proof, as the minister of Tourism announced officially. And yes, you will be able to hop from one island to the other without any issue. But again, these things can change quickly depending on the pandemic. So, just check the news when the dates are coming close to your holidays. I wish I could give you a definite answer but I don’t think that even the government can say sth with absolute certainty right now! Let’s hope that this pandemic will be over soon ..

      Reply
  12. Planning a Paros stay May – July, but still hesitant to complete booking because of travel restrictions; mainly no US tourists allowed currently. Any local gossip as to when Greece will drop the exclusion of US visitors? I’m good getting tested, but not being allowed to visit Paros again is breaking my heart.

    Reply
    • Hi John. I know how you are feeling. We are waiting as well for the restrictions to be lifted!
      To be frank, till now we are still in lockdown here in Greece, officially till 1/03 but the rumours say that this will be extended till 15/03. It is discussed here in Greece that the restrictions will be lifted at some point and the citizen might be allowed again to come to Greece, but no one knows when or how (maybe showing a copy of a recent coronavirus test or vaccination proof etc)
      Let’s wait a little bit, as these things can change rapidly.

      Reply
  13. Cruising from Venice to Istanbul. We will be stopping in Santorini, Athens, and Paros. Are there any tests, papers, codes, that we need for one day trips?

    Reply
    • Hi Janet. When are you planning to go? At this moment, you won’t need any extra tests or papers for a one day trip. Only the tests and papers to come into Greece. But right now Athens and Santorini are in red zones and they have additional measures in place (closed shops, restaurants, curfews etc)

      Reply

Leave a Comment